Today, President Aleksandar Vučić will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose term in the office is coming to an end.
Her arrival in Belgrade and the talks she will have with Vučić send out a strong message that Serbia and the region remain at the top of Germany’s agenda and the visit is recognition of Serbia’s development.
Vučić has repeatedly expressed his gratitude to Merkel for everything she has done for Serbia during her tenure, especially in terms of German investments in the country.
The Chancellor, who will travel to Tirana after Belgrade, where she will meet the Prime Ministers of the Western Balkan countries, will stay in Belgrade as long as possible and will have a series of meetings during that time. The first meeting between Chancellor Merkel and President Vučić is scheduled immediately after her arrival and the solemn reception will be held in front of the Palace of Serbia.
They will first speak behind closed doors, after which they will give statements to the press. German government spokeswoman Martina Fitz has said that the talks between the two officials would focus on bilateral relations, economic and political relations and EU membership.
Diplomat Zoran Milivojević expects Merkel make a statement about Germany not changing its policy in the region and that the Berlin Process remains in place as a mechanism that should bring Serbia closer to the EU membership. “It is no coincidence that she is coming to Belgrade first, and then to Tirana, to meet with other regional leaders. Her official visits send a clear message that Germany has a stong interest in this area,” Milivojević notes.
He also points out to Germany’s importance for the Serbian economy, as Germany is the biggest investor in the country and its companies employ up to 72,000 people here. Most political analysts expect Merkel to arrive in Belgrade without any new messages, insisting mainly on cooperation between the Western Balkan countries.
It is expected that she will talk with President Vučić about the continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Priština and the situation in the Republic of Srpska, especially in the context of the appointment of German diplomat Christian Schmidt as High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On the occasion of Merkel’s official visit, the Palace of Albania, the Bridge on Ada and the Branko Bridge will feature the colours of the German flag.
In addition, 1,500 flags of the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Germany will fly from the street lighting poles in the city centre, in Novi Beograd, on the Branko Bridge, the roads leading from the Nikola Tesla airport, all along the motorway and in the area around the Palace of Serbia. Large flags of the two countries are hanging off the Genex building in Novi Beograd as a sign of welcome.
This post is also available in: Italiano